Lies of Seven

When one walks around with others, one is sure to find many people who claim that seven is a magical number, or a lucky number, or a number that just “shows up everywhere.” Using number sense, one can see that seven has practically no reason to show up more frequently than its neighbors: it’s not a perfect power, it’s not a Fibonacci number, and probably the coolest thing about it (the 142857 phenomenon) is actually something that depends on the already arbitrary base that we use. But one day, some person while writing the Judeo-Christian myths decided to say “seven is special,” and generations of religious sheeperstition followed. If one observes many of the things that are told to us to happen to come in seven, one can find that many of them really should have came in six, or eight, or something else, or shouldn’t even have been a concept; someone, however, was convinced that something had to come in seven, or was intent on continuing the lie that seven is such a special number. Here, I explore just some of the ways we were told that seven is supposed to be special that derive from nonsense.

Lie of the Seven Days

I cannot imagine a proper estimate for how much unnecessary effort and time mankind has wasted as a result of using the seven-day week. I will here show that literally any other base ten single digit number of days in a week is more reasonable than seven. One: getting rid of the concept of a week altogether actually makes sense, as there is no astronomical reason for the week to exist, and the concept of the week itself is arbitrary. Two: An on-and-off system is much more likely to sync with people’s biologically default temporal reasoning, and the number of days in a week will more likely divide the number of days in a month, even if you argue on adjusting the number of days in a month. Three: See two; also is a good number for dividing the number of days in a year if one uses a 366-day year with a remove-day. Four: Gives the option to consider the half-week. Five: Divides the number of days in a year. Six: Probably the optimal number of days to put in a week, if one is to keep the concept of a week; gives half-week and third-week considering options, and divides 366. Eight: Gives the half-week option. Nine: Gives the third-week option, and although doesn’t divide 366, has a GCD with 366 of greater than 1, making not the entire set of days possible for a particular date to land on. Seven is a prime number, and optimally inconveniently does not divide 31, the most frequently number of days in a month, 365, the number of days in most years, or 366, the number of days in leap years. Moving from a month to the next month is as a result always a rearrangement of where the numbers go on the calendar, and figuring out which day of the week something like “June 14” falls on a few years from now actually becomes a math problem instead of a trivial observation.

Lie of the Seven Wonders

This should be a subject for which one need not even address, due to being incorrect on sufficiently enough levels that addressing the issue is like launching arrows at skeletons (some will miss because they pass between the bones). Suffice it to say that the Greeks have not been to the entire world, that the specific set of wonders has no particular designation (Petra is an example of a great work within the area that is not considered in the wonders), and that they knew so little about the world they thought the Black Sea was an ocean and thus that Europe and Asia were separate continents, an idea that later was continued by people who were less aware or stubbornly conservative after more people found that Russia exists. Anyway, the shame is that the arbitrary choice of seven was continued in the New7Wonders of the World.

Lie of the Seven Colors

Despite his contributions to science, Isaac Newton had his share of contributions to passing nonsense as science. Newton actually published more works regarding the occult than on physics. One of the more ridiculous things he did was to say that the rainbow included an “indigo,” a color he quite undeniably added in because he belonged to the group of ridiculously superstitious people who believed that everything should be in sevens. Observing the spectrum, there is no reason to specifically distinguish a separate color between blue and violet. Orange stands in a similar situation of being a strangely specific color represented in the rainbow, but unlike indigo, the typical human actually can distinguish well orange from red and yellow. Some argue to Newton’s blue referred to cyan and that his indigo referred to blue. In that case, one is going for a scientifically logical set of colors to state to be in the rainbow, which would mean orange should not be in the set, as a solitary tertiary color among would-be primary and secondary colors. Either way, there should only be six colors in the rainbow.

Lie of the Seven Continents

American schools insinuate to innocent children at an early age that the number of continents in the world is seven. As elementary school students typically aren’t at a sufficiently high enough age to doubt for reason, this is an example of a cheap shot to make people think that things really do magically tend to come in sevens. If anyone was to view an accurate geographical map of the world, it is ludicrous to suggest that the number of continents is seven. Suppose, for example, that one uses the measure “significantly large body of land”: then, there are really no reasonable cutoffs for “significantly larger smaller than New Guinea, so the cutoff should be between New Guinea and Greenland or between Greenland and Australia, in which case {America, Eurafrasia, Australia, Antarctica[, Greenland]} contains either four of five continents. If one argues geologically, in terms of areas of independent continental shelf with significant above-ocean prominence, there is {Eurafrasiamerigreenland, Australinewguinea, Antarctica, Madagascar, Iceland, New Zealand}, again six continents. The main common issue is that it takes a significant level of insanity to argue that Europe and Asia are different continents. Just look at a map. Is there even any bottleneck or folding to suggest that Europe and Asia should be considered separate continents? In fact, it is arguably more valid to consider India separate from this landmass than Europe: India, unlike Europe, is actually on a different plate than the rest of Asia; India, unlike Europe, actually has an exclusive topographical feature separating it (actually significantly high mountains separating it, unlike the Ural Mountains which are seriously low for a mountain range and do not even cut all the way across); and if one separates India as a continent, there aren’t actually countries that only make sense if one considers them to have parts in two different continents. In the big picture, it is probably actually not even a good idea to use the concept of a continent, separately from “landmass,” but if one uses the term, there definitely aren’t seven of them.

Lie of the Seven Ranks

The Kingdom|Phylum|Class|Order|Family|Genus|Species taxonomic division is seriously not ideal for all life. In fact, it is not even ideal for most of life. Looking at the taxonomic categorizations of many species and even noting taxonomic disputes shows that really one shouldn’t even consider there to be a number of levels of taxonomic division, and that some species should actually have different numbers of levels of categorization that lead to them than others, and that the existence of Domains, Subphyla, Infraphyla, and all of those just shows that we should just stop this silliness of assigning certain levels of classification as the benchmark ones.

There are, of course, cases when things legitimately come in sevens. Notes in a diatonic scale, for example, have a logical reason for coming in seven: they are the complementary set to the set of notes in the pentatonic scale within the notes in the chromatic scale, both naturally derived. What the person of today has a duty to do, though, is to question, and one idea that should be questioned to its fall is the reign of the number seven. One should look around for what is told to come in seven and seek the seventh pseudomember. I will in fact produce an example prompt for one such question to ask right now: there are seven SI base units. Is one of them particularly fishy?


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